Policy Name: Dignity At Work And Study Combating Harassment Policy No:P2021-884 
Policy Owner: Head of Equalities, Human Resources Effective Date: Jan 2020
Legislation:   Equality Act 2010 Next Review Date:  Jan 2021  
Documents being replaced: P1415-1469    

Policy Statement

Swansea University is committed to providing a working and learning environment which will enable staff and students to fulfil their personal potential. The University accepts that such an environment cannot be created or sustained if individually or collectively staff and students are subject to harassment of any kind. In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, Swansea University’s values and other relevant University Policies, everyone should be treated with dignity and respect at work and study. 

The University recognises that lack of dignity can seriously worsen working, learning and social conditions. For an individual it can cause demotivation, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, stress related ill health, poor work quality and reduced output. For the University it can cause increased absenteeism, increased staff turnover, poor working relationships, decline in productivity and results, and damage to the University’s reputation.

All employees have an obligation not to behave in a manner that could be offensive to others and harassment in any form will not be tolerated. Incidents of harassment will be regarded extremely seriously and may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The University is committed to investigating allegations of harassment fully, fairly, empathetically and confidentially. Investigations will be carried out in a timely manner depending on the complexities of the case. The University will protect a complainant’s wish for confidentiality, though where a founded complaint identifies a criminal act or illegal discrimination, the University has a legal responsibility to take appropriate action.

The University recognises that it has a duty to protect its employees and students from frivolous or malicious complaints and as such, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken if it is demonstrated that a complaint is made on a deliberately frivolous or malicious basis. It acknowledges that for some recipients of harassment the distress may have been caused inadvertently and the person responsible may be unaware of the effect of his or her behaviour. In such cases, disciplinary action against the perpetrator may not necessarily be appropriate. However any complainant will be protected from victimisation or retaliation if they have brought that complaint in good faith.

The University undertakes to operate procedures to deal with any problems of harassment and prevent reoccurrence of these problems.

Responsibilities under this policy: Swansea University Council is responsible for ensuring that this Policy is implemented.

Scope of the Policy

This policy covers all staff and students working or studying at the University. 

Key Principles

  • To create a work and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment, where individuals can fulfil their potential.
  • Identifies who has what responsibilities in this area
  • Provides examples of harassment in various forms, e.g. sexual harassment, racial harassment.
  • Informs staff/ students and others of what they need to do to complain about harassment.

Definitions of HR terms used in this policy:

Harassment - unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.

Protected Characteristic - the grounds upon which discrimination is unlawful. The characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Supporting Information / Documents

Dignity at Work and Study Procedure

A list of Harassment Advisors, and a Reporting Form can be found our Dignity at Work Staff Intranet page